California becomes 'sanctuary state' to oppose Trump immigration policy
Oct 07, 2017, 01:02
Gov. Brown also signed other immigration-related bills into law, including Assembly Bill 450 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, that protects workers from immigration enforcement through disruptive workplace raids.
Senate Bill 54, which takes effect in January, has been hailed as part of a broader effort by majority Democrats in the California Legislature to shield more than 2.3 million immigrants living illegally in the state.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a law designating California a sanctuary state, "bringing a measure of comfort" to undocumented immigrants living there.
What do you think of California's new bill? A compromise expanded the list of crimes that, if an immigrant is convicted of one, allow police to interact with federal authorities.
The bill's main sponsor, Senate President Kevin de Leon, praised the timing of the bill, stating it was needed in the climate of what he described as Trump's "mass deportation strategy", The Hill reported. In 1972, during UFW co-founder Cesar Chavez's 25-day fast in Phoenix, Arizona, the organization's other co-founder, Dolores Huerta, came up with the slogan.
Using typical leftist catch phrases, De Leon also denounced President Trump and criticized his policies as "racist and xenophobic".
"I know Trump supporters don't get this from their news, but immigrants commit far fewer crimes than citizens". It is the signature piece of a package of 11 bills establishing protections for undocumented residents of California.
California is home to an estimated 2.3 million illegal immigrants.
A coalition of civil rights groups that had been pushing for SB 54 released a statement applauding its passage.
The bill, SB54, originally would have severely restricted the authority of police officers to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The Trump administration warned against the first-of-its-kind law, but the trendsetting state may have a national impact. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana.
With Brown's signing of SB 54, that will become a reality next year. "We will not stand idly by as President Trump and our Attorney General Jeff Sessions seek to divide this nation by scapegoating honest, hard-working families and casting immigrants as threats to be neutralized".
Furthermore, the legal quagmire does not promise to improve.
California now contains at least 35 cities that have sanctuary status, with several facing off with the federal government over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' attempts to block federal funding from sanctuary cities. That policy was temporarily blocked by a federal judge after being challenged by the city of Chicago, Illinois.
We can expect the legal battle between the Trump DOJ and various sanctuary cities (and now the state of California) to be fought, appealed, and re-appealed though various federal courts.
"We must respectfully disagree" that state law wasn't followed, the department said in its response.
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